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mindfulness for teens

Mindfulness for Children & Teenagers

The importance of the development of the emotional body is hardly recognized today. We are pretty much left to our own devices to come to full adulthood, whether man or woman. Our elders may have become so denatured themselves from a lack of such nurturance that there is no longer a collective knowledge of how to guide the awakening emotional vitality and authenticity of our young people, our children. Mindfulness may contribute to a reawakening of this ancient wisdom in ourselves and in others.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

There are now many mindfulness programs available for young people of all ages. Research is in the early stages, but is promising in terms of reducing depression and anxiety, and enhancing resilience and emotional regulation. 1 

Mindfulness at Home

Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that one of the best ways to introduce mindfulness to our children and teenagers, is to practise it ourselves. Transformation of their stress may be greatly helped by us attending to our own reactivity and anxiety about them!  Also, there are also some helpful books, CDs and programs that you may want to explore with your kids. Circle of Security Parenting (integrated with mindfulness training) is very helpful in transforming the way family members relate together, enhancing communication, intimacy and effective discipline in the home.  Here are some websites which may be of help to parents and children:

Mindfulness in Schools

John Berne

Openground can offer a training pathway for schools to be able to implement mindfulness approaches in the school environment. Engaging the teachers in a course to get the basic theory and practice of mindfulness under their belts will give them eligibility to train in one of the evidence-based quality mindfulness programs for schools now available.  We can also offer in-school programs for children and teens, depending on the location.  Do be in touch. And here are some websites of interest:

Brother Mark, Timothea Goddard (Openground), Ange Flannery at the completion of the 8 week mindfulness course for all staff held in Term 1, 2016.  Watch an inspiring clip about the transformational work of the John Berne School.

Mindfulness for Teachers

When teachers learn mindfulness, they not only reap personal benefits such as reduced stress and burnout, 2 but their schools do as well. In randomised controlled trials, teachers who learned mindfulness reported greater efficacy in doing their jobs 3 and had more emotionally supportive classrooms 4 and better classroom organisation based on independent observations. 

Mindfulness: Youth Voices

References

1. Baijal, S., Jha, A. P., Kiyonaga, A., Singh, R., & Srinivasan, N. (2011). The influence of concentrative meditation training on the development of attention networks during early adolescence. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 1-9.

Napoli, M., Krech, P. R., & Holley, L. C. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99–125.

Semple, R. J. (2010). Does Mindfulness Meditation Enhance Attention? A Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness, 1, 121-130.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Metz, S. M., Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Cantrell, T., Sanders, R., & Broderick, P. C. (2013). The effectiveness of the learning to BREATHE program on adolescent emotion regulation. Research in Human Development, 10(3), 252–272.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Raes, F., Griffith, J. W., Van der Gucht, K., & Williams, J. M. G. (2014). School-­based prevention and reduction of depression in adolescents: A cluster-­randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness group program. Mindfulness, 5(5), 477–486

2. Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(3), 182–195.

3. Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374–390.

4. Kemeny, M. E., Foltz, C., Cavanagh, J. F., Cullen, M., Giese-­Davis, J., Jennings, P., … Wallace, B. A. (2012). Contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338.

5. Roeser, R., Schonert-­Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., … Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness training and reductions in teacher stress and burnout: Results from two randomized, waitlist-­control field trials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 787–804.


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